If I were to have a poll question that read something like this “Yes or No did you watch the Chargers-Broncos game this past weekend” I’d imagine 85-90% of true Broncos fans watched the game. And I’d say that out of those people, everyone saw THE FUMBLE, the offense scoring at will on the Chargers, and the defense just getting beaten down by the Chargers.
The number reason we lost, oh wait, won that game this weekend is because of our inept pass rush. It was quite possibly one of the worst displays of rushing the quarterback that I have encountered as a Broncos fan and something must be done.
What kind of a defense thrives by keeping linebackers 5-7 yards off the line of scrimmage and plays a 3-2-6 defense. It was one of the worst schematic games we have ever had too. However, things are usually not corrected in the middle of the season. Lucky for us, we are only two games in. But, we may be stuck with a defense that will have to get creative to pressure the quarterback, and without the personnel to get to the passer consistently. That makes it easier for teams to game plan against us.
Teams that will have success against our defense include one of the teams we play this week. The Saints, so we will have to regroup quickly. As many of our remaining opponents don’t really scare me with a great passing game. We don’t play the Cowboys, Eagles, Packers, Colts, and there is no Tom Brady in New England (In case you aren’t aware of that yet). So, if we can get to 3-0, we play the Chiefs and then Tampa Bay at home.
We should be 5-0 after 5 games, however, then we play a desperate Jaguars team and then we go on the road to New England. Given that the Jaguars haven’t played well and New England will be going with there backup QB Matt Cassel the rest of the season, i’m thinking 7-0 into our bye week and then at home against Miami may put us at 8-0. The Broncos can use this lucky win to propel us to great heights, we shall see what happens.
But, one thing is for sure. We should all send Ed Hochuli a Christmas card. He feels bad for what happened this past weekend, so we should all cheer him up and thank him this holiday season.
Now, back to the issue at hand. Our pass rush. Let’s start to face the facts and read between the lines. If Mike Shanahan hasn’t played Jarvis Moss, then he has confirmed what we already know. He hasn’t been able to hold up against the run, but more importantly, he may not be the pass rusher we envision either, he seems to get engulfed by Offensive Tackles too easiily. Oh and it’s not like Tim Crowder has faired much better.
He has garnered more playing time, but is far from the answer. Anytime John Englberger is your starting DE, you have problems. But, boy can he stop the run. With that said, shouldn’t we have seen that before the draft and picked up a DE in the 4th or 5th round. To me, or biggest weakness was DE rather than DT, which we addressed in the 5th Round with Mr. Powell, who is out for the season with injury.
I’m predicting we have a great season for two reasons. I do think we will scheme our pass rush better by the end of the season. Also, we have a very generous schedule. I mean, we had a weak schedule coming in, but look at the Browns and Jaguars, they seem to have just rolled over. Our toughest games down the stretch will be the last three weeks as we face the Bills, Panthers and Chargers to close out our season.
I’m thinking we already have 10 wins by that point, but remember, we don’t usually play well in December, so we have to win 2 out of those 3 games, to have enough momentum to carry us into post season success.
So, with a lot of our young talent developing, we have a few areas of concern. And pretty much all of them are on the defensive side of the ball. But, the most glaring is the pass rush. So, with what I hope is the 32nd pick in the 2009 draft, let’s hope it is the biggest, baddest pass rushing dude to hit the NFL.